Survey: Employee financial woes increased in the past year
- A greater number of employees are not feeling very confident about their finances compared to a year ago, and the higher financial stress levels are having a negative impact on work productivity, relationships and health, according to a new survey from PwC.
- PwC's 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that financial stress rates are among the highest they've been over the last 5 years, with 52% of those surveyed saying they are stressed about finances and 45% saying that their stress has increased over the last 12 months.
- In addition, 28% of respondents said personal finances have been a distraction at work (compared to 20% last year), and among those employees, 46% spend three hours or more at work per week dealing with or thinking about issues related to their finances (compared to 37% last year). With those increasing numbers, employers may want to start paying more attention to their employees’ financial wellness.
Unfortunately, only 44% of those surveyed believe that their employer cares about their wellbeing, and over half of millennials (54%) report that their loyalty to employers is influenced by how much their employer cares
All generations, but especially Millennials, are prioritizing retirement savings lower on their list of financial goals than paying off debt. Finally, savings for retirement are also currently down 5% for Boomers to 79% and down 6% for Gen Y to 60%, which highlights that even those employees close to retirement haven’t saved enough to retire, placing even more pressure on employers.
Kent E. Allison, leader of PwC’s Employee Financial Education and Wellness practice, explained that a combination of factors are adding to stress levels. Despite lower energy costs, salaries are barely keeping pace with the rise in cost of living, causing an additional strain on employee budgets that were already stretched thin.
“With retirement savings worryingly low, now is the time for employers to put effective financial wellness programs into place that focus holistically on the financial well-being of employees and drive behavioral change,” Allison added.